In a report released in late May, the Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said the FAA has made “significant progress” in reducing runway incursions compared to five years ago. But it cautioned that the serious risks associated with runway incursions underscore the need for maintaining vigilant oversight and a proactive approach to preventing severe accidents.
Air Traffic Organization
At the FAA’s Joint Planning and Development Office Day on Capitol Hill recently, Administrator Marion Blakey introduced two NextGen future ATC documents. First was the agency’s 41-page 2008-2012 Flight Plan, which announced projects such as the statewide Alaska ADS-B project.
There was good news for Alaskan pilots last month, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey introduced the agency’s draft 2008-2012 Flight Plan, along with the NextGen Concept of Operations, to Congress.
Since everyone agrees that rapidly increasing traffic volumes over the next 20 years will demand the FAA’s NextGen solution–or something very similar–it came as a surprise to hear a recognized authority ask whether there actually will be such a system. This is the almost unthinkable question that Neil Planzer, Boeing Phantom Works v-p for strategy and advanced air traffic management, posed at an Atlantic City, N.J.
There was good news for Alaskan pilots last week, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey introduced the agency’s draft 2008-2012 Flight Plan, along with the NextGen Concept of Operations, to Congress.
An analysis of 56 airports’ operational capacities has concluded that the FAA must “move forward aggressively” to implement the NextGen system or risk further delays at 27 major airports. The Future Airport Capacity Task (Fact) report also found that 15 metro areas will have to make use of smaller, regional airports, such as Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and Stewart International in New Windsor, N.Y., to avoid increasing congestion.
Although a “road map” for the next-generation ATC system will be released June 23, members of the House aviation subcommittee at a hearing yesterday expressed some concerns about their efforts to date. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is worried about oversight, particularly ownership of ADS-B, the “backbone” of the NextGen system.
Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass warned Congress that government agencies must redouble efforts to develop the nation’s next generation air transportation system (NextGen) or the nation will suffer serious operational–and economic–impacts.
Hoping to stave off aviation gridlock this summer, the FAA last month summoned 60 participants from major and regional airlines, pilot and employee representatives, industry associations and other organizations to develop a strategy to reduce system delays.
In the light of the European Union’s final go-ahead given to the “Single European Sky” (SES) initiative, speakers at the Jane’s ATC Maastricht Conference (see box) engaged in a lively debate about how to enhance air-traffic management performance.